Rabi Tower hike was one of those places I never wanted to visit. It is simple if my social media feed is abducted by a place, I simply choose not to be there since it means one thing: the mass crowd.
But life had different plans for me. My family and I were camping nearby Khor Fakkan during midweek, and we decided to give Rabi Tower hike a go since it was midweek and there will be less traffic. In addition to our very early start.
So, we did, and to my surprise, this trendy hike turned out to be a great experience [MINUS THE TRASH LEFT ON THE TRAIL], my wife, our baby who slept all the time, and I had a great day, and I highly recommend giving this route a shot no matter what your experience.
Rabi Tower at the start of the hike
Rabi Tower hike is a well-built man-made hiking path and well-marked. There are no risks to get lost since the path is very visible all the way to the summit. The path is for all levels, I have seen kids hiking it [parents, do not leave your kids out of sight, some sections are exposed]. it is made out of compressed sand, gravel, and staircases. The path itself is easy to walk and navigate on, but expect some steep ground and steady elevation gain. I dislike it when I read other websites claiming the Rabi Tower hike is a great beginner’s hike because it is not the case if you have fitness issues or injuries. I am not discoursing the newbies, just be prepared mentally for some challenging few hours.
So, despite its easy path, it is steep and can be challenging especially on a hot day. I would describe it as a great training profile due to its length/elevation gain ratio.
Rabi Tower map legend
At the moment there are 2 routes to reach the summit of the Rabi Tower hike. They both start from the parking lot on a joint path. But around halfway, the path splits into 2. One route (left fork) goes up a hill and around, then down to meet route 2 at the camping spot. And the other route goes around the hill without much elevation gain until it joins back with route 1. Route 2 (right fork) can be a good option if you want to avoid a steep ascent and descent. Then the route continues to the summit.
Route 1: around 3km one way with an approximate elevation gain of 390m. Give it 1 to 1.5 hours one way.
Route 2: around 2.1km one way with an approximate elevation gain of 320m. Give it 45-60 minutes one way.
The easiest combination is to ascend and descend via route 2. But for a mixed experience, I recommend to ascend via the left form and descend via the right fork (which is the left fork when you descend)
Note 1: there is a wide man-made path from the start all the way to camp. But this is used for the rescue Quadbikes. Some hikers use it, but I recommend against it since it is designated for rescues, so keep it clear.
Note 2: the start point on a weekend is from the “big parking lot”, which is an extra 500m walk uphill.
- Elevation gain: around 390m
- Elevation loss: around 390m
- Highest elevation: around 518m
- Starting elevation: around 210m
- Round trip distance: around 6km
- Time required: 2-3 hours
Rabi Tower summit
Needless to say, hikes in UAE and Oman are demanding due to 2 major factors:
- Weather, it is very hot in the region, which requires you to stay hydrated. Always take extra water with you.
- Harsh terrain and extreme drops: the geology of the area is very hard and harsh. The terrain is hard on the feet and joints, especially with the altitude gain/loss in short distances. So wear a good pair of high ankle supported shoes and use trekking poles to avoid injuries (especially for those who have knees issues).
So carry sun cream, sun-glasses, emergency blanket, head-light, lighter, hat, trekking poles, hiking bag with waist straps, water, more water, healthy snacks, and food for the day.
And inform someone who knows when you are starting the hike and when you expect to return.
Start as early as possible so you avoid descending in the dark.
I have seen unfit people completing the hike, however, this is very risky. And if you like hiking, you have no excuse not to exercise to increase fitness. After all, you want to enjoy your day comfortably. It is one thing to complete a goal while suffering, but it is a lot more rewarding when you achieve it while you are enjoying the process.
Without any doubt, the Rabi Tower hike is very scenic, we really loved the views of the ocean from one side and the town from the other. Route 1 (left fork) has more views and some views not to miss.
And a general note, Rabi Tower is at the start of the hike, not the summit.
- Avoid starting the hike midday or at night, the best time to start is in the morning.
- If it is raining, watch out for falling rocks, and if it is heavily raining, don’t do it at all, as flash floods build up quickly and they are dangerous.
- Higher a guide (a certified and recognized by an international standard guide with rescue experience) if you have no experience. There are many guides taking tours, but most of them are not qualified.
- Please don’t leave trash behind, and if you see any trash laying around, do the community a favor and collect it.
Don’t be like these people. Leave no trace, leave the trail a better place.
Needless to say, I would like to hear your opinion. And if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below